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Liverpool have come a long way and should hold their heads high despite 3-0 demolition vs Barcelona – Opinion

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Liverpool opinion: Liverpool should not be ashamed after Barcelona loss

The trip to Barcelona didn’t pan out too well for Liverpool in terms of the scoreline. The Catalans ran out 3-0 winners in the first leg of the Champions League semi, and we need another fantastic night at Anfield to make it into a second straight final.

Luis Suarez stabbed us in the heart with the opener before Lionel Messi got a brace, his second goal was an incredible free-kick.

The Reds had their chances and on another day, we could have scored a precious away goal too, however, our players should hold their heads high despite the 3-0 loss.

Dominating Barcelona at the Nou Camp

Liverpool were great in the second half but we could not get that away goal. James Milner, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah should have all scored, but this just was not our day.

Stats from WhoScored added that we had 15 shots at the Barca goal compared to 12 for our hosts. We won 63% of aerial duels and shaded possession with 53%.

Barcelona’s attack was brilliant and our defence had trouble at times to contain the opposition, still, Joel Matip did a great job and so did Andy Robertson.

Mohamed Salah against Barcelona

Mohamed Salah against Barcelona

Joe Gomez was never going to be the attacking outlet that Trent Alexander-Arnold is, and Virgil van Dijk didn’t do all that great, but this was a quality performance just let down by our finishing.

The Reds weren’t overrun in the game, and went toe to toe with one of the best in the world.

Liverpool have come a long way from the days of a B-team going to face Real Madrid under Brendan Rodgers.

Jurgen Klopp went to the Nou Camp with a plan, and it worked for almost 90% of the game. The difference in the tie was Messi and Suarez being a thorn in the Liverpool defence.

This was also a real test for the team in Europe and shows that we still are a little short when it comes to taking on the best in the world.

Salah, Mane and Roberto Firmino are brilliant as a unit, but with the Brazilian not starting, the energy in the attack was missing.

Georginio Wijnaldum did an alright job in the attack, but he isn’t on the same level as Firmino in that position.

One last shot at glory

This was a learning experience for the Reds and Klopp will certainly be thinking of how to ensure such a result does not take place again.

Liverpool have taken us on a wonderful ride in the Champions League this season, and we have one more shot to make this campaign memorable at Anfield in a few days.

Read more Liverpool news, click here – Latest Liverpool news

European nights are always fantastic at our home, and if we start the game in full attack mode, there could be some scared Barcelona defenders that we could exploit.

Ditching a corporate job to follow a dream isn’t easy, but when football comes calling, who can say no? Been following the beautiful game since 1998. Liverpool addict, F1 fanatic!

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“You deserve it”, “Music to my ears” – Several Liverpool fans pleased as key Reds star pens new contract extension

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Joel Matip signs new contract to extend stay at Liverpool

Liverpool confirmed that Joel Matip was the latest start to sign a new deal with the Premier League leaders.

The Cameroon defender joined from Schalke on a free transfer in 2016 and has been excellent over the past 12 months.

The 28-year-old has been consistent alongside Virgil van Dijk and has helped us become one of the best defences in Europe.

Joel Matip scores against Manchester City

The centre-back missed our last two games but was happy committing his future to the club (h/t LiverpoolFC.com):

“It’s a great feeling to be a longer part of the club. It’s really just a great feeling.”

Matip added that the Reds had a young team and are ready to win more trophies after landing the Champions League last season.

Back for the United game

The release from the club added that Matip should be ready to face Manchester United on Sunday, and we do need him.

Our defence hasn’t been all that tight this season, with Joe Gomez and Dejan Lovren playing alongside Van Dijk in recent games.

Matip will provide us with more assurance at the back, and we should be the favourites for the clash at Old Trafford.

The Cameroon star has turned things around at Anfield and has replaced Dejan Lovren as the partner for Van Dijk.

Gomez was the partner for the Dutchman last season, and Matip didn’t let the opportunity slip when the English defender was out due to a fracture.

Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, Andy Robertson and Roberto Firmino are some of the stars who have penned new deals in recent months at Anfield.

Many of our supporters were pleased at this news and here are some of the reactions from Twitter.

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Why copying Liverpool’s defence strategy is difficult for Manchester United or any other side – opinion

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Why United’s move for Harry Maguire was always destined to fail

Virgil van Dijk was the most expensive defender in the world and well, he did turn our fortunes around with some impressive performances.

From a leaky defence, we became the tightest unit last season, and that was the base for a fantastic campaign. The Reds were struggling at the back and landing Van Dijk worked out quite well, something which Manchester United did this summer.

The Red Devils splashed £80million on Harry Maguire to make him the most expensive defender in the world (h/t Express), however, things just haven’t worked out for them.

Michael Owen claimed that the move had failed since United didn’t have the same “calibre” of players as the Reds did (h/t Express). Maguire might be the most expensive defender in the world, but this move was always going to fail.

It isn’t only about the players at Liverpool

The Reds didn’t have the greatest set of defenders before Van Dijk’s arrival and his leadership qualities certainly have helped us at the back.

Things do look calmer here, but United also signed a quality right-back in Aaron Wan-Bissaka in the summer. They had decent options for the other spots while David de Gea is regarded as one of the best keepers in the world.

Virgil van Dijk

So why hasn’t it worked for them? And in all probability, it won’t work for others too.

It all goes down to the manager and the coaches we have. Take Van Dijk out of the defence and we have Joel Matip, Dejan Lovren and Joe Gomez as his partners.

Each defender has grown leaps and bounds under Klopp. Gomez was possibly the best centre-back last season before he picked up that fracture.

Matip came into his own during the second half of the previous campaign while Lovren was excellent in the 2-1 win over Leicester City.

Joel Matip scores against Manchester City

Our full-backs have been fine-tuned to fit into this system and they are possibly the best in the league.

Andy Robertson came from Hull City and took time to adjust to Jurgen Klopp’s demands. Trent Alexander-Arnold took time to become one of the most consistent right-backs in the league, and the pair is excellent when going into the attack.

It is true that our defence didn’t look that great when Van Dijk wasn’t around but the people behind the scenes also deserve credit for fixing things at the back.

Our entire system works together in getting the best out of the players and that is something which is not in place at most clubs.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer doesn’t have toplevel experience and even after splashing big on Maguire, they still have a lot of work.

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Liverpool, on the other hand, have been excellent in their transfers over the years and our players are improving with each season under Klopp and co.

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Klopp doesn’t confirm if these 3 important Liverpool stars will face Manchester United

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Jurgen Klopp to take call on three players ahead of Manchester United clash

Jurgen Klopp was in a boisterous mood ahead of our clash against Manchester United on Sunday.

The German participated in his pre-match press conference and spoke on several topics.

The manager also provided an update on three players returning from injury.

Jurgen Klopp
Jurgen Klopp

Joel Matip, Alisson and Mohamed Salah all carried knocks going into the international break, and Klopp claimed he would check on the trio before making a decision at the weekend:

Liverpool need to be at their best

Adrian has done a wonderful job in place of Alisson, but the Brazilian’s return would be a boost for us.

Salah is one of the best in the world while Matip could be the most important player to return. The Cameroon defender improves our defence and has been excellent alongside Virgil van Dijk.

Joel Matip

We need to be at our strongest when facing Manchester United, and Matip will be important for us. Joe Gomez struggled this season and he is a little rusty after returning from an injury last season.

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Dejan Lovren did well against Leicester City but Matip should be ahead in the pecking order. Salah also needs to have a great game, and it will be interesting to see how Liverpool do against our biggest rivals on Sunday.

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